There are only ten countries in the world with an economy larger than the state of California so it stands to reason that the state would have a very robust educational system.
California educates more students than any other state. In 2011, over 400,000 full-time and part-time students attended an institution of higher education in California. Around 330,000 were enrolled in public colleges and universities with the remaining at private schools.
The state is home to some of the most prestigious schools in the world including Stanford University, California Institute of Technology and the University of California.
California State University is the largest university system in the entire country with over 420,000 students enrolled at its 23 campus locations across the state. The University of California is the second largest university system in the state with over 230,000 students and 10 campuses.
The California Community Colleges System (CCCS) is system of over 100 community colleges and serves over 2.4 million students. The CCCS has more students than any other system of higher education in existence.
The economic downturn in 2008 had a significant impact on higher education in California. Housing was extremely robust leading up to the recession and California was one of the states that was hardest hit when the housing bubble burst. State revenues from taxes declined dramatically and budgets for colleges and universities in the state were reduced over the years following the recession.